Seated in the Grand Auditorium of the Glen Eira Town Hall, a large crowd of 100 people gathered to celebrate an evening that will leave a lasting impression. Last Thursday evening, on September 4th-Tes Elul, a milestone event transpired in Melbourne, Australia. Cheder Menachem Early Learning Centre, a Preschool established to provide Chinuch Al Taharas Hakodesh for the growing Melbourne Jewish Community in 2005, opened its brand new state of the art Centre located in the heart of the Jewish hub. At this Dedication Evening, supporters and friends of Cheder Menachem ELC came together to celebrate the new centre’s Grand opening in January 2014.
The evening began with Chazan Shimon Walles singing songs of welcome with professional Pianist, Mr Gregory Cveig, on the grand piano. The MC for the evening was Rabbi Avrohom Jacks, a well respected Rabbinic figure in the community. As the entrée was being enjoyed, Rabbi Yehudah Hoch, Dean of Merkos Women and parent of triplets at Cheder Menachem, shared a beautiful letter from the Rebbe on the importance of education, especially for young children.The MC gave a very warm welcome to Head Shliach and leading Chabad Rabbi of Melbourne, Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Groner, who inspired the participants with his unique style; combining Torah thoughts with practical insights and his personal feelings of the importance of Cheder Menachem’s contribution to the community.
The buffet dinner was served in style, good taste and abundance. Various meat and vegetarian dishes were prepared by Ungers Catering. Background musical entertainment (as well as all the sound and lighting on the evening) was arranged by Yisroel Kisilevitch of YK Custom Audio. Guest Speaker, Mr Anthony Howland-Rose, CEO of Allegiance Mining Pty Ltd of Sydney – a great supporter of Cheder Menachem – mesmerised the crowd with his unique background in Mining as well as association with prominent Jewish businessmen over the years. He described his loving admiration of the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s activities and how his blessings have brought him outstanding success.
The lights dimmed as the screen decended, and an impressive video was presented. Eyal Avraham of Edit Art, an award winning filmaker, produced a video comprised of interviews with supporters, parents, and Directors – Rabbi Levi and Mrs Channie Kurinsky – of Cheder Menachem. Views of happy children playing and learning in the new Centre on 67 Hotham St, East S Kilda could be seen as people spoke about their personal experience and proud association with Cheder Menachem.
As the Rebbe always emphasizes, Maalin BaKodesh, a new initiative was launched at the event. The Miriam Baila Early Childhood Scholarship Fund aims to provide educational care for children from families who can’t afford it. The fund was established L’Ilui Nishmas Miriam Baila A”H bas YIBLCHT”A Shlomo Reuven Dovber, a young baby who passed away tragically in Melbourne. B’Hashgocha Protis, the Dedication Evening took place on the night of her Shloshim.
Awards and gifts were distributed to various honourees. Mark and Marina Briskin who sponsored the Children’s Library in loving memory of their son Mark Briskin OB”M were honoured with an award and personal gift. Anthony and Vivian Howland-Rose were awarded for their staunch support of Cheder Menachem. Yaniv and Jodi Levy, long time parents and supporters of the centre were acknowledged for their firm commitment to Chinuch Al Taharas HaKodesh. The dedicated staff of Cheder Menachem received a token of appreciation for their sincere efforts, to resounding applause.
The evening concluded with Birchas HaMazon followed by a sumptuous buffet dessert and lively musical entertainment. Even though it was a week night, the atmosphere was so pleasant that the crowd stayed on long after the event was over! Surely this evening was a springboard for the growth and expansion of Chinuch Al Taharas HaKodesh in the Melbourne Jewish community.